Category Archives: Opinion

North Merrick, New York, U.S. June 4, 2020. Black Lives Matter March heads east on Jerusalem Ave and then turns north onto Bellmore Avenue, toward eastbound entrance to Southern State Parkway. Shortly before protestors arrive, Nassau County Police officers park several patrol cars at intersection to stop and divert traffic to make path for peaceful march of largely of young marchers, black and white . Many marchers wore face masks, some masks covering mouth and nose, some masks lowered below mouth as they chanted. Young black man with megaphone led the chant: megaphone man: NO JUSTICE marchers: NO PEACE megaphone man: NO RACIST marchers: POLICE Signs marchers carried included: RIP GEORGE FLOYD - IGNORANCE IS ALWAYS AFRAID OF CHANGE - BLM! - BLACK LIVES MATTER - NO RACIST POLICE

from Merrick, Long Island: Black Lives Matter

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (annparry.com)
June 5, 2020

peaceful march in turbulent June

VIDEO – Black Lives Matter March, N. Merrick, NY, Thursday, June 4, 2020:

Last night, while driving home shortly before 9 PM, I accidentally found myself in the path of a Black Lives Matter March about to turn onto Bellmore Ave from Jerusalem Ave in North Merrick.

When marchers turned, they passed between my car and several Nassau County Police patrol cars parked to block the intersection, so marchers had a safe, clear path.  [google maps]

I held my iPhone out the driver’s window to film the marchers, many spread out for social distancing. Most were young, some black, some white, and most wore masks, either covering their mouths and noses or under their chins.

They carried signs with messages including: RIP George Floyd  –  BLM!  –  Black Lives Matter No Racist PoliceIgnorance is always afraid of change

A man with a megaphone led his fellow marchers in a chant:  No JusticeNo PeaceNo RacistPolice

After they continued north for a few minutes, police cleared a path through the intersection, and neighboring cars and I continued south. 

Later, I learned the marchers were part of a massive, peaceful Merrick march that started earlier that night on Sunrise Highway and ultimately blocked traffic on the Southern State Parkway

NAACP.org   BlackLivesMatter.com


  This Tuesday night, June 2, self-proclaimed reporter got over 10,000 views on facebook when he live-streamed his take on about 30 people at Merrick Road, Merrick, protesting against Black Lives Matters supporters who wanted to march east from Trader Joe’s to Massapequa.

The ugly comments that anti-BLM March group made about the protestors were exacerbated by the videographer repeatedly and inaccurately referring to that small group as The People of Merrick, as if they represented the entire community.

As an aside:  One of the anti-BLM protestors commented how someone was wearing a mask (following CDC guidelines during COVID-19 pandemic) and asked, rhetorically, if the person was a coward.

It’s an anti-mask sentiment I suspect not only the chief executive of the United States but also the COVID-19 virus – if sentient – would share.


  48 minutes ago, today, an email from NY State Senator John Brooks (District 8) landed in my inbox:

Last night, we witnessed a second wave of protests over the tragic death of George Floyd. In good part, this second march was the direct result of spiteful remarks gone viral, made by ignorant people flanking the peaceful march the day before. Let’s be clear, in Merrick there exists an overall community of wonderful people who genuinely believe in the fundamental principles upon which this nation was founded. Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness combined with the understanding that all are created equal provides the basis of outlook, action, and acceptance of any Merokian I have come to know.

The remarks made by these ignorant few do not reflect the opinions and beliefs of the people of the Merrick community or, for that matter, any community on Long Island. Yesterday, many Merokians walked along in protest, while many others stood on sidewalks providing support, applause, and even bottles of water to the passing marchers. In response to the tragedy of George Floyd, I witnessed members of this community march in support of the most basic of human rights, and I was proud; In response to vile words of thinly veiled hatred by a minority of instigators peddling divisiveness, I witnessed this community come together once again to protest that hatred in a peaceful way, and I was inspired.

Merrick is a community of fairness and understanding, of acceptance and fellowship, and I am proud to represent this community in the NY State Senate.

Sincerely,    John E Brooks

I largely agree with Sen. Brooks’ above statement.


Walk the Walk

Segregation is rampant on Long Island, and – as Newsday’s undercover investigation found – it didn’t happen by accident. [*see links below] 

Yes, we need to Talk the Talk of the truth that Black Lives Matter and deserve equal justice, and to Walk the Walk by supporting/participating in Black Lives Matter protest marches.

Be we also need to take the countless steps needed to have our community, our Long Island communities, be more diverse and reflect the truth that Black Lives Matter and deserve equal justice, housing, health care, education and job opportunities….

*Newsday  – Three-year investigation uncovers widespread unequal treatment by real estate agents on Long Island (2019):

Undercover Investigation:  racial steering by real estate agents

Opinion/EDITORIAL (Updated Nov. 17, 2019): Segregation’s stain on Long Island can be overcome


FEATURE PHOTO at top of post: Merrick, New York, U.S. June 4, 2020. North Merrick, New York, U.S. June 4, 2020. Black Lives Matter March heads north on Bellmore Ave in direction of eastbound entrance to Southern State Parkway.


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North Bellmore; New York; USA. March 14; 2018. Protesting gun violence, Mepham High School students walk out of class for 17 minutes; starting 10:00 am EST; one minute for each student shot and killed last month in a Parkland, Florida, H.S. It was part of a nationwide walkout in solidarity with student shooting victims, and a demand for U.S. laws to reduce gun violence.

Bellmore-Merrick Students Walkout to Protest Gun Violence: Déjà Vu

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (annparry.com)
March 14, 2018

Today, over a hundred Wellington C. Mepham High School students walked out of class from 10:00 to 10:17 AM, one month after a teen used a semi-automatic rifle to kill 17 students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas H. S. in Parkland, FLA.  

North Bellmore; NY; USA. March 14, 2018. Protesting gun violence, Mepham H. S. students walk out of class for 17 minutes; starting 10:00 AM; one minute for each student shot and killed last month at a Parkland, Florida, H.S. (© 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

North Bellmore; NY; USA. March 14, 2018. Protesting gun violence, Mepham H. S. students walk out of class for 17 minutes; starting 10:00 AM; one minute for each student shot and killed last month at a high school in Parkland, Florida. (© 2018 Ann Parry/AnnParry.com)

2018 NATIONAL STUDENT WALKOUT: 17 MINUTES

Mepham’s walkout was part of a nationwide protest to show solidarity with student shooting victims, and to demand U.S. lawmakers enact regulations and laws to reduce gun violence.

By 9:45 AM, several Nassau County patrol cars were parked on Camp Avenue in front of Mepham. School administration had requested police “just in case.” But neither the officers nor the school security guard, standing a distance from the walkout, needed to interact with protestors.

North Bellmore; NY; USA. March 14, 2018. Security Guard in red jacket watches as Mepham High School students, protesting gun violence, walk out of class for 17 minutes; starting 10:00 am.  ( © 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

North Bellmore; NY; USA. March 14, 2018. Security Guard in red jacket watches as Mepham High School students, protesting gun violence, walk out of class for 17 minutes; starting 10:00 am.  ( © 2018 Ann Parry/AnnParry.com)

Several adults drove or walked to Mepham and stopped to look at the protest held at the west side of the school building. The most visible focal point from the street was four students standing on a bench and holding up big handmade protest signs. 

North Bellmore; New York; USA. March 14; 2018. CRYSTAL PHOTIOU, of Bellmore, drove to Mepham to watch students walkout to protest gun violence.

[Photo digitally altered to remove color from car/driver] North Bellmore; NY; USA. March 14, 2018. CRYSTAL PHOTIOU, of Bellmore, drove to Mepham H. S. to watch students walkout to protest gun violence. (© 2018 Ann Parry/AnnParry.com)

CRYSTAL PHOTIOU, of Bellmore, stopped her car in front of Mepham to watch the protest. When asked why she was there this morning, Photiou said:

“I wanted to see the kids. I wanted to see our future. That’s why I came.
“We have to do this. We have to support them. Absolutely.”

Midway through the walkout, a car with a man and woman in it stopped in front of the school. The driver said they’d come from the student walkout at Calhoun High School – which, like Mepham, is in the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District. Smiling, she added there were so many students protesting outside Calhoun it looked like the whole school was participating in the walkout.

Déjà Vu:  VIETNAM WAR 50 YEARS AGO

The Vietnam War started not long after after I was born. By the late 1960’s, protests, notably including student protests, were helping turn public opinion against having American troops in Vietnam, which significantly helped lead to the withdrawal of our last troops by 1973.

I first began to understand the cost of the Vietnam War in 1968 when I was a junior at Calhoun High School. A military draft seemed guaranteed in the near future (in fact, the 1st draft lottery for Vietnam War was held Sept. 1969), and one of my closest friends, Tom, a senior, waited anxiously to find out if he was accepted into a military band, considered a safer assignment than the alternative.

My senior year, a small but earnest group of students held a walkout to protest U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. 

And in Calhoun’s Main Lobby, the plaque commemorating graduates who died serving in Vietnam had even more brass nameplates than expected for a school our size.

When I was an undergraduate student at SUNY New Paltz, Vietnam War protests were an inescapable part of life on campus, starting with the protest songs during Orientation Week concerts, just weeks after and 50 miles away from the Woodstock festival…  including a sit-in at the Administration Building around the time of the Kent State massacre, May 1970…  and continuing until our troops totally left Vietnam, shortly before I graduated.

North Bellmore; New York; USA. March 14; 2018. Protesting gun violence, Mepham H. S.  students walk out of class, as part of a nationwide walkout in solidarity with shooting victims, and a demand for U.S. laws to reduce gun violence. (© 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

North Bellmore; NY; USA. March 14; 2018. Protesting gun violence, Mepham H. S. students walk out of class, as part of a nationwide walkout in solidarity with shooting victims, and a demand for U.S. laws to reduce gun violence. (© 2018 Ann Parry/AnnParry.com)

SIGNS OF THE TIMES

Properly motivated lawmakers – who replace incumbents, when necessary – can pass regulations and laws that both keep Second Amendment rights intact and also help significantly reduce the amount of gun violence, which is significantly, outrageously worse here than in other countries.

Today’s National Student Walkout to Protest Gun Violence is a hopeful step in the right direction. On March 24th there’s the March for Our Lives Rally in Washington, DC, and local communities. After that it’s time for the next steps.  

#ENOUGH      #NeverAgain 


  • UPDATE  April 8, 2021 – President Biden announces new executive actions on gun control  CNN Politics

Protect Children, Not Guns:   ChildrensDefenseFund.org

Mepham Students Walkout:  my PHOTO GALLERY

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    • 2016/04: Hillary Clinton Panel on Gun Violence Prevention, Port Washington